Last night was indeed pool night.
Forgot to bring a camera, which is bad because there were lots of great photo opportunities. Mostly of Ben dancing like an idiot whenever he sank a ball. Or whenever the dj played something that he actually knew. They had this horrid dj that was playing stuff which had munchkin sounding vocals over thumpy thumpy non-musical tracks. I was bored by it. I don't like dance music all that much, but a good dj can make magic... this guy "made me a headache" as Geoff would say.
Brian didn't make it--and that's too bad because we actually had such a blast. Derek Vodkaman, who works at the college too, came up with the guys and was in rare high-entertainment form. We laughed an awful lot at and towards him.
Dan was also there, claiming to be ready for the baby to come, except they still have some finishing touches to do on the baby's room. Doug laughed "He has NO idea what he's in for. heh heh heh."
Ben has a new girlfriend and brought her along. She works at the college too, and I don't know her very well, but last night she was my girl and we had a great time. She told me she was a little worried about going out with us all because she thought it was a "guy" thing, and was glad that I was there. I told her it's usually my idea and for some strange reason they agree to drive all the way up to Haverhill to meet for pool when there are a million places closer to their house. Says a lot about the nature of our friendship I think.
It was fun to watch Ben and his new girlfriend last night. I am always fascinated by people in new relationships.
The way they touch each other, the small glances across the group of friends complete with eye rolling and blushes. They were awash in small simple hand dances with one another. The way he put his hand on the small of her back and pushed her gently away from or towards his body. The way she stands on her toes to look in his eyes with her fingertips slipping gently into his belt loops. His hand reaching over and grabbing the hem of her shirt and twisting it through around his fingers into a little ball, and her not caring he's stretching the fabric out.
I've seen him with a few different girlfriends, and I'm always impressed at how sweet he is to his girlfriends, and to his friends. His mom died three years ago, and I think that she would be proud of the person he has turned out to be, really. I've told him that and he thinks that's the biggest compliment I could ever pay her. I wish I could have told her to her face but I never had the chance to meet her.
Two years ago I remember him telling me how incredibly in love he was with this new girlfriend, he met her at a buddy's wedding. She was the one he was going to love forever. We were at the same pool hall on another really fun night, the last night we all got to go out with Clayton.
Now he's with someone else, and I have no idea what happened or why. And I'm not going to ask him. I never ask details -- he offers if he wants to share. I think if his new girlfriend wasn't there he may have been forthcoming, but they were doing their new relationship connection thing and that of course meant he wasn't free to sit on the couch with me and talk and talk.
He's like a little brother to me sometimes and I get kind of... concerned and protective. We have a great, casual relationship, but I feel a great bond with him, and with Dan really. Not so much with Brian most of the time... that bond is different. It isn't as affectionate as I feel with both Dan and Ben. Brian is sort of inaccessible that way. Instead of "I love you guys!" it's "Of course I love you, don't be an idiot and ask me again."
When we are together we have a blast and it always ends with "I love you guys!" and "we need to do this more!" but we do it so sparingly. I asked Ben last night if we would have been friends had we met not at work but say at school as students and he was so enthusiastically convinced we would have been friends even if we met on line at a deli. Sometimes I wonder. I'm completely amazed at the nature of some of the friendships I have, where I meet people, how I get to know them... and of all my friendships I'm glad that Ben and I continue to be friends, that my leaving hasn't resulted in a total disintegration of relationship. I'm glad to get email from him telling me I'm a loser because my fantasy football team kicker is out for the season injured and I haven't replaced him. I'm glad to get picked on by him and I'm happy I make him laugh. He is the one person I think I miss the most from being at the college.
Next Saturday is Vodkaman's birthday and they are all going out on a gambling cruise out of Lynn, MA. He does their advertising and print collateral, so he's got 8 passes. Doug and I were invited, but we aren't going to be able to go because Doug's going to Chicago for a wedding. And I would be getting back to port at 2am, which isn't fair to any baby sitter anytime. Unless it was my mom or something and she was sleeping her.
So another pool night will have to be scheduled for later. I'd like to do one before the end of the year.